Action Alert: Help Move Bill Before Legislative Session Ends!

We have a chance to move the bike lane protection bill forward this week!

One of the bills we filed in the Massachusetts Legislature in January 2013 has a chance to move forward, but we need your help before midnight Thursday.

The Act To Protect Bicyclists In Bicycle Lanes (S 1640) protects bicyclists by prohibiting motor vehicle operators from parking in on-street paths or lanes designated by official signs or markings for the use of bicycles, or placing the vehicle in such a manner as to interfere with the safety and passage of bicyclists. Motorists frequently endanger bicyclists by parking in bicycle lanes, forcing bicyclists to merge into traffic. There is currently no applicable state law, and some communities are passing local ordinances that will result in inconsistent rules and enforcement unless statewide action is taken. (Click here for the full text of the bill.)

This is not a theoretical problem – we all encounter it every day on roads across Massachusetts. Just this week, we heard about a bicyclist being attacked by a motorist after complaining that he was parked in a bike lane.

The bill was reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Transportation, and has been sent to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. We want to get it out of Ways and Means this week!

It would significantly  increase the chances of passing the bill this year if we can get it approved by Ways and Means before the formal session ends on Thursday.

We need you to do the following TODAY or TOMORROW:

  1. Call or email your State Senator ask that he or she ask Senator Stephen Brewer, chair of Ways and Means,  to approve S 1640.
  2. If your Senator is one of the sponsors of the bill or is on the Ways and Means Committee, it is especially important that you contact them:
  3. Sponsors:

    William N. Brownsberger
    Sonia Chang-Diaz
    Kenneth J. Donnelly
    James B. Eldridge
    Patricia D. Jehlen

    Committee Members:

    Stephen M. Brewer, Chair
    Jennifer L. Flanagan, Vice Chair
    Sal N. DiDomenico, Assistant Vice Chair
    Gale D. Candaras
    Eileen M. Donoghue
    Benjamin B. Downing
    Patricia D. Jehlen
    Brian A. Joyce
    Thomas P. Kennedy
    Thomas M. McGee
    Michael O. Moore
    Marc R. Pacheco
    Anthony W. Petruccelli
    Michael F. Rush
    James E. Timilty
    Richard J. Ross
    Donald F. Humason, Jr.

  4. CC action@massbike.org on your emails, or send us a message telling us who you contacted.
  5. Share this Action Alert with your friends!

Don’t know who your State Senator is? Find out here.

We’re sorry to report that the other bill we filed in this session,  the Act To Protect Vulnerable Road Users (S 1639) would have added legal protection for bicyclists, pedestrians, wheelchair users, and other vulnerable users of the road. Unfortunately, that bill was “sent to study” by the Joint Committee on Transportation, which means it is effectively dead for this session. A new legislative session begins in January, and we will decide whether to refile the bill or take other action at that time.

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